In my youth I hungered for Wisdom, or whatever I thought might constitute wisdom. I have to admit, after all of this time I am not sure what I envisioned when I thought about wisdom. I figured it related to Truth (the capital T is very important) in some profound yet mystical way. I held Truth in high esteem, as well, though I had no better idea of Truth than I did of Wisdom.
Many years later my tag line on my work related email (an internal system predating our access to the Internet in the jail in which I worked) related to wisdom. "For over forty years I sought wisdom only to learn it is one of the least valued commodities on Earth." It earned no comment, good or bad. Perhaps that underlines what I thought I had to say.
During the course of that forty years I often longed for a venue through which to share my wisdom, and even experimented with some. Now, some years later still, I have that venue. The Internet. Wow! What power!
What deep profundity wishes to burst forth from the depths of my being? After all, seeking wisdom for so many years should have provided a well of great thought. I should have so much to share!
I do. However, the greatest gift my quest for wisdom has given me is the ability to recognize that few seek wisdom from a venue such as this. The pathway to that little guy sitting on top of the mountain is not a broad and beaten path. Nope.
Pretty much whatever wisdom you are going to acquire will be beaten into you along the way to just living your life. There really aren't that many wise men or women out there, just some who have learned to contain their inner fool. I hope that I have at least learned a little of that.
I tend to believe that living simply is better. I consider the greatest gift we can give to others is to leave people alone and let them live their own lives. I hold that the best interactions are catalytic rather than analytic or well-intended. In other words, just bumping up against one another is sufficient to sharpen and polish. Too much attention or intention just screws up the process.
Indeed, the tyranny of the well-intended is no better than the tyranny of the profoundly self-interested. It is still tyranny. Political despots or meddlesome old ladies (of any gender or age) differ only by degree.
In reviewing my journals I realize that the things that confused me in my youth largely still do. However, I have grown to better accept my limitations in understanding. I valued sunrises and sunsets then, and still do. I valued new horizons and new vistas then, and still do.
When I was younger I saw humanity as flawed, and I wanted to fix it. Now I see people as flawed, as I am flawed, and beyond my ability to fix. That is what grace and redemption is all about. If you want to know about those, there are many books on the subject. Better yet, ask God to show you. Even if you don't believe that there is a God, you can ask. Interesting things may happen.
I have come to believe, and perhaps always have, that reason and mysticism are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Life is not one color, or one texture, or one note. It is not just one flavor, or just one scent. It is not just one size, either. It is infinitely large, and infinitely small, yet just the right size to embrace. Touch it with all of your senses, and your mind, and your heart.
Even fear and anger are a part of life. However, neither should define or limit life or how it is to be lived. They are simply parts of the palate from which life is painted, components from which your being is constructed. The art of composition can be applied to more than art, and should be. Paint with your whole being.
I have learned that laughter is valuable, even in difficult times and in dark places. Especially in difficult times and dark places. It is most valuable when I have learned to laugh at myself. Others will, so why should I miss out on the joke?
Is any of this wisdom? I don't really know. It doesn't hurt to call it that.
I am currently 62 years old. At present I am a retired correctional officer with 20 years of service. (My real job these days is being a Grandpa.)
I am married to my long-suffering wife, Linda. I have three children; Matthew, Beth, and Jon. I currently have six grandchildren; Alexandra, Madelyn, Wyatt, Lucas, Abigail and Landon.